West Brom defender Jonas Olsson claims that new Manchester United signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic “thought twice” about moving to Old Trafford.
Olsson, who has played with Ibrahimovic for the Swedish national team, encouraged the striker to move to England along with others who reassured him it was the correct step.
The Baggies defender thinks the 34-year-old can be the next Eric Cantona at United and Ibrahimovic has already made his mark by scoring the winning goal in Sunday’s Community Shield final against Leicester.
“Zlatan thought twice before he signed for Manchester United,” Olsson told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
“We texted a little between the spring and the late summer. I told Zlatan that Manchester United would fit him perfectly.
“The personality that Zlatan has is just like when Cantona was there. Manchester United have lacked this kind of representation with the fans in recent years.”
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) August 7, 2016
Olsson is pleased his former international team-mate chose to join a Premier League side and can’t wait to face the striker when West Brom play the Red Devils later in the season.
“I’ll be honest,” he said. “I wanted him to come here. It raises the status of the league even more and it is fun for me personally to play against him. I hope I find it as funny after we have played against United.
“He texted me a little bit, but I don’t think my opinion weighed so heavily on his mind. He wanted to know about the atmosphere in England, whether the club would suit him, and also about life in Manchester. He wanted to know a little about the social life over here.
“I think there were other people he spoke to and that he listened to their opinion more.
“This is still a big step for Zlatan. He has a great career behind him. He is almost 35 now, but he has a few years left in his career before it is finished and he wants to be remembered for what he does at United.”
Olsson believes Ibrahimovic, who has won titles in several other leagues, will thrive in the Premier League this season.
“I think the English league suits him. The Italian and Spanish leagues can be a bit more tactical [defensively],” Olsson continued.
“Here, the centre-backs in general are more focused on winning every ball in the British way, and I think he can take advantage of the fact that they can be a bit too aggressive sometimes. He’s a very intelligent player.”